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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Weed invasion causing man-elephant conflict

It seems every day I can go into the Google search  engine, type in the name of an animal or plant species and discover that the animal or plant species is being held as a scapegoat for something which was really caused by Humans. Today I found an article online entitled, "Weed invasion causing man-elephant conflict " which was written by Subhash Chandra NS and was pubished online at:

In this article Subhash Chandra states the following:

"The State Forest department has submitted before the High Court that exotic weeds like parthenium, eupatorium and lantana were growing in abundance in wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in the State, taking over native grass and creating a food scarcity for the pachyderms in the forests."

Well if this is happening and causing pachyderms (such as Elephants) to not have enough food to eat, the logical and simple solution to the problem seems to try and  get rid of these exotic weeds don't you think, so that the food that elephants and other pachyderms eat there could grow in abundance once again? According to the article:

"“Despite the efforts made to remove the weeds physically in Nagarhole, Bandipur and BRT tiger reserve –– these areas are part of Mysore elephant reserves –– it has not yielded results,” the affidavit said. With bamboo being the main food of several herbivores, including elephants, the affidavit said the department’s efforts to ensure artificial growth of bamboo have failed due to overgrazing by cattles belonging to the villagers in the fringes of the forest."

In other words, humans are causing the conflict between themselves and the elephants, because they are raising cattle on this land, which are overgrazing, and causing weeds to overgrow in the areas being grazed.Because  of these weeds, the food that elephants need to eat to survive, is not plentiful enough for them, and now because of this fact, elephants are going to have to move around in order to find bamboo plants to eat from.When they move around, they may cause damage to human villages and human property,which causes some people to want to kill the elephants. However, it is human behavior which is causing this problem for the Elephants.

As shown in this graph:

a "dramatic inverse relationship between elephant and human populations in Africa.  Elephants are found where human populations are the lowest, or, as in South Africa and Kenya, where elephants are largely within national parks or preserves.The root cause of human-elephant conflict is the exploding human population growth and resultant pressure on elephant habitat."

Throughout the elephant world, in Asia and Africa, humans and elephants are killing each other and destroying food sources.  Both the Asian and African Specialist Groups of the IUCN  ( International Union for Conservation of Nature   )have assigned task forces to address human-elephant conflict (HEC).  (source: )

Now I would like to return to the article   written by Subhash Chandra, which continues in this fashion:

"The department has also submitted that the anti-depredation cost (for scaring and driving away elephants when they enter human habitat) was increasing every year."

Well what do you expect to happen if the Elephants do not have any food to eat and they do not have any place to live because so many humans are now living in the area, and some of these humans are using the land for farming and crops? It is the humans which are causing this man-elephant conflict to occur, yet it is the Elephants which are  being made to suffer and possibly even die, because they lack the food they need to survive! The elephants have as much, if not more right to live in these areas as the humans do! They have been engaging in foraging for bamboo, centuries before any humans were in these areas of the World. Elephants cannot change what they eat, unlike humans. Elephants cannot limit their population levels like humans can. Elephants do not overgraze land like cattle owned by humans do! Yet it is the elephants who you can be sure, will be blamed, if negative interactions between humans and elephants occur in the future in this part of the World! It will be the elephants who are killed or forced to move somewhere else not the humans, which is so unfair!  This situation, is evidence of how selfish humans are as a species! Humans have overpopulated this planet something awful and it is our species who is causing problems for other life on this planet, not the other way around! Humans need to stop overpopulating this planet,before this behavior is going to lead to  suffering and  death  for all of all life on this planet!

As stated in the article:  "Human- Elephant conflict in Sri Lanka." 
which you can read by clicking on the following link: 

"Except at lowest densities, large wild animals and humans are fundamentally incompatible. This incompatibility increases rapidly as both animal and human densities increase.  The conflict between man and elephant is the result of competition for land and its resources, and it has become one of the most serious conservation problems, for which general solution remains still elusive. Crop raiding by elephants is a chronic problem in areas where cultivators live in close proximity to elephants. In addition the conflict includes crop depredations, destruction of houses and properties by wild elephants, loss of human lives, and the death of elephants from land mines. Elephants also kill and injure livestock and disrupt the social and economic activities of the local communities. The traditional approach towards mitigating the conflict in Sri Lanka has mainly depended on legislative protection of the species and reservation of its habitat."

If humans and large wild animals are fundamentally incompatible,then it is humans who should be willing to give up things, not these wild animals, in order for both species to be able to live in harmony! Because of this incompatibility too many elephants (such as the one in the photo above) and other large wild animals are being used as scapegoats for the human-elephant confllct in our World!!!! 

Source of image:

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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed

Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia

A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed

Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein

The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi

The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller

Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns

Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.